Over the past several months the Lord has brought a young girl across my path named Lucero who lives in the Rio. Lucero is fourteen. Two months ago, she gave birth to Jesus Calet.
During Lucero’s pregnancy I was able to pray with her and encourage her often. When Jesus Calet was close to two months old Lucero and her sixteen-year old husband came to the soup kitchen for a birthday party and tried to feed their precious baby cake! As I talked to them I found out that they had tried feeding him rice and given him tastes of coffee as well! Don’t get me wrong, these parents love their baby, but just honestly have no idea about baby care and development. I arranged a time to meet with them about infant care and then went home to look up all sorts of information in Spanish on baby development.
The next week I was able to sit down with mom and dad and talk about what two month old babies can and can’t do, what they can and can’t eat, etc. We talked through developmental stages for the first few months, healthy eating habits, how to prepare a bottle, and how to relieve gas and constipation in a little guy. Jesus Calet has been having constipation problems since he was born. Thankfully, I was able to show them how to do different tummy massages, bicycle legs, and give the advice of a warm bath to help him.
In my last semester of college, I happened to take a class where I could shadow a Help Me Grow worker in order to skip the final. I shadowed the worker for two weeks. During that time, we went to homes of teenage moms and poverty-stricken girls who had at-risk babies to educate them on child development and baby massage. I had no idea how much this would come in handy! I love the Lord! He prepares us in advance for what He has for us to do. He can use everything and I believe has a purpose for everything that happens in our lives.
This past Saturday, Lucero came up to me at the soup kitchen, very excited. She told me that she has been doing the things I taught her to help Jesus Calet with his tummy and that it had worked! Excitement and relief were written all over her face. I loved the time I got to spend with Lucero and her husband educating them about babies.